I met Mary Connealy through ACFW and through my friends at the Writer's Alley. She truly has a gift for writing romantic comedy. I laughed through the pages and couldn't wait to pick up another of her books. So, I asked Mary to be my guest today
God Gives Seasons of Life
I am a big believer that God gives us seasons of life.
I couldn’t see it while I struggled to get published but now, looking back, I realize that God waited until exactly the right time in my life to let me be published.
I sat down to write a book, a full length novel, with the intent of getting it published, the year my baby, the youngest of four daughters, went to Kindergarten.
I wrote for ten years before I got my first book published. At the end of that ten years, I had twenty finished books on my computer. That is; twenty full length romance novels. I had other, shorter works, Middle Grade novels, short stories, children’s books, novellas, even a few poems and songs, in addition to the novels.
All that time I was writing along in what I think of as Mole-like Anonymity, I was seriously pursuing publication. It’s not like I was just patiently writing and expecting an editor to come to my door and say, “I’ve heard rumors of your greatness and I’ve been searching for you, please may I buy your book.”
It’s not like I would type up my story thinking with sublime confidence, “God will send my books to the right publisher at the right time.”
I was entering contests, querying agents, mailing partials into publishers, using my Writer’s Market Guide and my Romance Writers Report Magazine, to hunt down editors and agents and contest where ever I could find them.
Through all that writing and querying and rejection, I always got just enough encouragement to carry on. I was a finalist in a contest with the second book I wrote. I’d get a occasional request for a full followed by a ‘nice’ rejection.
I got some short plays published and made actual tidbits of money.
It all kept me going.
When I finally sold, my first book, Petticoat Ranch hit the shelves in February and my baby graduated from high school in May.
I worked so hard promoting Petticoat Ranch. I did book signings and gave talks in any place that would let me in. Bookstores, libraries, churches. I attended conferences and went to ICRS. I was crazy busy hustling around selling that book. I had no idea just how demanding it would be.
To me it was a light going on. The season of my life that I could devote to being a published author came when I had time to be a published author. I could give myself whole-heartedly to it without neglecting my children because they were grown.
I just couldn’t see this when I was struggling all those years. But I needed those years. I needed them to get my daughters raised and also to get a back list of books because, once Barbour Publishing bought my first book, they wanted more and more of them. I published nineteen books with Barbour in four years. Of those nineteen books, eight were already written. I would never have been able to keep up that pace if I hadn’t had those years to write all those books. And it was really good for my career to be able to say YES every time Barbour asked for another book.
That was God’s plan. I try to remember that when I’m impatient with anything, not just writing. Wait on the Lord. Embrace and enjoy the season of life I’m walking through with Him.
Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is a Carol Award winner, and a Rita, Christy and Inspirational Reader's Choice finalist. She is the author of the bestselling Kincaid Brides Series: Out of Control, In Too Deep, Over the Edge, Lassoed in Texas Trilogy, Montana Marriages Trilogy and Sophie's Daughters Trilogy. Mary is married to a Nebraska rancher and has four grown daughters and two spectacular grandchildren.
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Thank you Mary for joining us this weekend
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